Barrick Gold said it had been granted 10 exploration licences in Tanzania and president and CEO Mark Bristow reiterated the potential for a tier one complex in the country, where it’s resolving issues regarding the former Acacia Mining assets.
Barrick said it planned to spend US$8 million on exploration in Tanzania this year.
Its North Mara, Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi mines are managed by Twiga Minerals as part of a joint venture and settlement agreed with the government, which Barrick last week described as “a triumph of partnership”.
Bristow said a “re-energised” North Mara, where a comprehensive water management plan was being implemented, was ahead of plan in the year to date and Bulyanhulu had resumed underground mining.
“We are gearing up to potentially make North Mara and Bulyanhulu into a combined tier one complex, capable of producing at least 500,000 ounces of gold annually for more than 10 years in the lower half of the industry’s cost profile,” he said.
“We shall also be looking to expand the life of operations as well as other new Tanzanian opportunities within the Twiga framework.”
He did not specify any plans for Buzwagi, where the mill is solely processing stockpiles until mid-2021.
In a presentation, Barrick said year-to-date production stood at 338,000oz on a 100% basis and full-year production was on track “to fall within market guidance”.
North Mara had produced 79,000oz in the September quarter, Buzwagi 24,000oz and Bulyanhulu, which is expected to ramp up to full operations in the first quarter of 2021, produced 8,000oz.
It has paid the first $100 million of the agreed $300 million to settle past disputes with Acacia and Bristow said with the framework agreement now fully implemented, Barrick had “settled most of the landowner disputes and are well on our way to ensure that we are fully compliant with our environmental permits as well as with the government’s local content legislation.”
Barrick shares closed on Friday at C$35.21 in Toronto, capitalising it at $62.6 billion (US$47.6 billion).